How Skype is Helping Kids with Autism

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[Source: The Sacramento Bee via Reading Rockets]

Three times a week, Kristen Lundstrom opens her laptop from her home in Carroll, Iowa and speaks to a speech therapist at UC Davis’ MIND Institute about ways to help her 14-year-old son, Tyson, grow his vocabulary and better communicate. Tyson has Fragile X Syndrome, which is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental issues and learning disabilities.

Many children who have Fragile X Syndrome also meet criteria for autism.

Lundstrom and her son are participating in a study that is “training parents so they can essentially function like the speech language clinicians for their own kids,” said Dr. Leonard Abbeduto, principal researcher in the study and executive director of the MIND Institute. Her family is among 30 participating in the study in areas including Sacramento and states including Florida.

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